Please don't pass me the turkey. This Thanksgiving, as I sit down with good friends for an "orphans" dinner, I'll be doing my usual thing. Eating plenty of side dishes and probably bringing my own Tofurky (turkey made of tofu) and veggie stuffing. This might be considered "fanatical" and "extreme" by some, but I just consider it humane. No, I don't like my joyous holidays with a side order of death and torture. Some of you probably imagine your turkey was living a charmed life pecking away at grass on a farm before some kind farmer snuck up behind him and took his life with some quick, humane blow. Uh, no. Turkeys at a Butterball plant have been videotaped being struck, kicked, thrown, and battered with long sticks before being killed. That's your dinner. I consider that extreme.
Butterball, the largest manufacturers (i.e. killers) of turkeys, has previously been accused of animal abuse at their plants, though they claim to have a "zero tolerance" policy for it. But Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, has (surprise!) caught them at it again -- this time at a plant in North Carolina. The birds are shown being kicked, grabbed, thrown, and dragged. Injured, bloody birds lie on the ground, their eyes begging for mercy. If you think they somehow don't feel this, you'd be wrong.
If you've ever wondered why you feel so depressed, so angry, so out-of-sorts, think about the cruelty you're consuming. You're eating tortured souls.
I've always been inclined toward vegetarianism -- even before I knew about animal cruelty. But in my early 20s, I was still making one exception: I'd eat turkey on Thanksgiving. My grandmother went to a lot of trouble making a big fat turkey, and I figured, What the heck. It's just this once.
But then about 20 years ago, there was a huge bird flu epidemic in somewhere like China. They began slaughtering every chicken and turkey they could find. That's when I realized -- this stuff is not good for me. So I stopped eating fowl right then and there.
I've never regretted my decision -- I don't even remember what meat tastes like. And there are plenty of meat substitute alternatives. I eat veggie sausage. Veggie burgers. Veggie chili. You name it.
This year, I'm either going to buy a Tofurky or, if I don't think I can use all of that, make vegetarian shepherd's pie with veggie burgers. It's delish! By the way, I'm the same size I was in high school. Nyah!
Will you eat turkey this Thanksgiving? Will you eat it after watching this video?
Image via Mercy for Animals/YouTube